Saturday, 7 February 2009
The Story of Azazel
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following was taken from the “Lore of Light” by Shaykha Amina Adil (q.s.). I consider much of this allegorical, and based on folk tales. They are not necessarily meant to be believed, except that which is from the Qur’an and swahih ahadits.
The Lord of the Worlds Created the fire of Sammun. From this Fire of Sammun, He Created the jinn. The first of the jinn was named Marij and the Lord Created a second one to be his wife and she was named Marijah. They had a son and they called him, 'Jinn.' From them, derived all the clans of the jinn, including Azazel. The Lord Gave them the Earth to dwell and they lived and worshiped there for a long time. So much did they worship, that the angels grew amazed and said, “O our Lord, Raise them up to the Heavens so that we might learn from them and follow their good examples.” So the Lord Raised Azazel up to be among the angels and he lived among them in the First Heaven. The others remained on Earth and they were mostly righteous, until a number of them began to transgress the Law.
And the Earth said, “Oh my Lord, have You Created me that I should be peopled by disobedient-folk?”
The Lord Said, “O Earth, be patient. I shall Send prophets among them to lead them back to the straight path.” Until that time, no prophets had appeared amongst the jinn. The Lord Sent to them eight hundred prophets but they killed them all. Finally, the Lord spoke to Azazel in the First Heaven and He Said, “Azazel, go and fight the unbelievers on Earth!” Azazel obeyed and descended onto Earth and confronted the unbelievers. Then the Lord Sent down a fire from the skies and it consumed them, so not a trace remained except the believing jinn.
Again, Azazel prayed that he was Raised Up into the First Heaven. According to one narration, he worshiped so much in the First Heaven that he was raised through all the Seven Heavens and beyond. He worshiped on the Earth, and he worshiped in the Heavens until Adam (a.s.) was brought into existence. Then, the Lord Ordered all the angels and Azazel to bow down before Adam (a.s.) and all the angels obeyed. Except Azazel.
Shaykh Hasan al-Baswri (q.s.) said, “Azazel worshiped above the Seven Heavens for more than 70,000 years until he was Raised to the station of Ridhwan.” Ridhwan being the Guardian of Paradise and Azazel was the Guardian of Paradise for 1,000 years. Once he read an inscription on the Gates of Paradise, and it read: “There is a servant, among the Most Favoured servants of the Almighty Lord. For a long time, he will be obedient and serve his Lord well but there will come a day, where he will oppose his Lord and disobey and he will be Driven from His gates and be Cursed.”
Azazel wondered at this prediction. “How can that be?” he asked, “that one of the closest servants of the Lord should grow disobedient and be Driven from His Nearness?” “O Lord,” he pleaded, “Grant me the permission to curse this rebellious one, whoever he may be.” The Lord Gave him Permission and Iblis showered curses upon the future sinner for one thousand years, knowing not that it was to be himself.
There is a conflict of opinion between people as to whether Azazel, who later became Iblis was of the angels or of the jinn. But it is Written in the Holy Qur’an, he was one of the jinn and committed ungodliness against his Lord’s Command. Because of his extreme virtue and the intensity of his prayers, the Lord Raised him up into the Heavens to live amongst the angels. When the Lord Ordered them all to prostrate before Adam (a.s.), he refused and his hidden rebellion was exposed.
Some say he was the Peacock among the Angels. He caused the Heavens to wonder, when there was not a space the width of a hand on the Earth where he did not make prostration for his Lord. For ages, none excelled him, none could match him, not even the angels. Outwardly, he was perfect. His physical existence surrendered to the Will of his Lord perfectly until he was eventually Raised to the Heavens to be among Angels, and to lead them in prayer. He was dressed in greatness, he worshiped his Lord more than any other creation. But yet, he failed to serve Him inwardly.
At the external physical level, he was in the state of perfection before His Lord. But at the internal spiritual level, he was in a state of rebellion. Hence, when Azazel was Tested by the prostration before Adam (a.s.), he refused. And Allah (s.w.t.) Brought to the surface what was hidden within his breast and allowed him respite, until the Day of the Time Appointed.